Even people who prefer to be alone can get to a point where isolation is too much. When quarantine is warranted or isolation is required, it is a lot different from choosing to be alone. Even if someone usually chooses to be alone, the removal of that choice is frustrating. People who enjoy being around people have an even more difficult time with isolation, and people who love their family very much can still become irritated with them when stuck at home with them all the time with no break.
With that in mind, there are ways to keep sane in the midst of trying times that include isolation or quarantine. Some of these tips involve action, and some involve inaction, and none of them will work for everyone, but something may help to keep you and your family sane when isolation is required.
Be Responsible and Compassionate
Whether you live alone or with a bunch of people, it will help life to run smoother to take care of things as needed. Things still need to be done regularly, such as house chores and meals, so taking some responsibility for these things – even just sometimes – will help to lessen stress and ease the burden.
When one lives with a family, compassion is required just to get through the day! Remember that everyone is restless and eager to move on with life and treat others the way you wish to be treated.
Keeping the body active and healthy is one way to keep up morale. For those who have already established an exercise routine, this should not be too difficult, but if exercise is a new pastime, there are a lot of ways to get started. YouTube and other websites have exercise videos. Most of them require no special equipment, but if weights are desired but not owned, canned goods can often be substituted.
When the weather is nice, walking outside is a great idea, as well as giving the added benefits of sunshine and fresh air. In some areas, it may be required to stay in one’s own yard; in that case, set a time and walk the perimeter or choose a game, like croquet, that involves moving around the yard, or run sprints, or whatever activity you enjoy.
Keeping your brain sharp is good for all ages. There are many ways to do this, including puzzles and puzzle games, studying something new, learning a new language, playing board games or card games. There are a lot of virtual classes available for everything from singing and instruments to college classes, to languages – pretty much everything! If there is something you have always wanted to learn, during isolation is a great time to get started!
Communication is key. This does not only relate to calling friends and family to keep in touch, it also means the people in the household, if you do not live alone. When people share the same space, talking about things will help keep the household running smoothly. Of course, this is probably not the best time to bring up contentious things, but finding common ground is good.
With virtual face-to-face apps such as Skype, Facetime, and Marco Polo, connecting with people who do not live in the same house is easier than ever! Connecting with someone you can see can be so encouraging when you are not allowed to be with people.
In isolation, days tend to run into each other without much to distinguish one from another. Having a daily routine can help to start and end each day well. Starting off with a cup of coffee, a bit of exercise, a shower, making the bed, and getting ready for the day can make a person feel human in a situation when there is little human interaction.
Especially when the goal is to keep healthy, such as in a quarantine, eating healthy options is key. The immune system works best when it is fed properly with good nutrients. The more healthy food you eat and the more unhealthy food you avoid, the better you will feel and the better you will be able to handle whatever life throws at you.
While lazing around in pajamas is nice occasionally, making the effort to get dressed in day clothes will lift your spirits and help you to feel more motivated to accomplish something. While some people in quarantine or isolation have nothing pressing to do, most people find that accomplishing something boosts their mood. Getting dressed can have an amazingly positive effect on a person.
Sunshine and fresh air are good for people, and sunshine has been shown to have a sanitizing effect in many situations. Vitamin D from the sun boosts the immune system, as well.
Now, obviously, if there is danger in being outside, stay inside until it is safe to go outside, but as long as it is safe, outside is a good place to be.
During a time of quarantine, do keep a good distance from others if your outside area extends to public parks or other place where others might be.
Try something creative like journaling, creative writing, painting, drawing, scrapbooking, sewing, or some other pastime that results in a finished product. Being creative can boost brain power and lift one’s mood.
When people are required to quarantine or isolate, it is usually because of something that has happened. It is necessary to keep updated but limit the news to necessary updates to keep from getting bogged down with the negativity that tends to fill the news on television, internet, and newspapers.
Read a Book
Do you have a list of books you want to read if you ever get the time? Isolation is the perfect time to tackle that list! There are new books being released every day, so even the most voracious reader can find new content to enjoy.
Watch a Video or Movie
Netflix, Mubi, Amazon, Vudu, Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, and many other websites offer movies either for free or for a nominal rental fee. There are classics available as well as current releases. Take a break and enjoy the movie that you have been meaning to watch or use videos to learn something new.
If you share a household with other people, remember that many hands make light work and encourage cooperation. Things will go much more smoothly and everyone will be more content while waiting to be released back into the “rat race” of usual daily life.